Our Kickstarter Unpacked

As you may know, Empowered Homes has gained a sister business, Custom Joy. Our mission is to create thoughtful spaces and joyful places for all. Excitingly enough, we are working to bring a TV Show to air, and we need all hands on deck to raise funds!!

Our Kickstarter campaign is not JUST intended to fund a show. It’s about creating a movement that champions inclusivity and transforms lives. By joining forces, we can shatter barriers, challenge norms, and pace the way for a more accessible future. 💪

Keep Reading to learn all about our show!!!

The Series Within The Kickstarter

Joyful Places is a series that follows former occupational therapists Gretchen Kingma (REALTOR©️) and Tiffany Dill (Designer) as they find and renovate homes for the disabled and their families. This is a demographic set to explode as the Baby Boomer generation reaches old age. As a result, there is an increased demand for accessible housing and a sparse supply that leaves the consumer with so much more to desire.

Why We’re Fundraising

You may not relate to having a disability now, but all of us — or someone we love — will eventually experience some kind of age, accident, or health-related mobility issue. 

Our homes fail to reflect this reality…and their design actively excludes members of the disabled community. This is a minority group you or your family could become a part of at any second. 

The potential audience for a series like Joyful Places is NOT niche. 67 million Americans live with a disability and 1 in 8 use some type of mobility device.

And what aging group comprises more than 80% of home ownership in the United States? Baby boomers, 85% of whom plan to stay put in their homes and communities. Every day 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65. So odds are, if you or someone in your family isn’t someone who could already benefit from accessible home design…that day is coming fast.

Our Stars and Their Mission

Real estate agent Gretchen Kingma, a mother of two, found her passion for accessible housing when her father developed a debilitating form of cancer. While trying to honor her dad’s dream — to own a home with a pool — Gretchen decided to leave her job as an occupational therapist to help other families in similar situations find their dream homes.

Also a mother of two and a former occupational therapist, Tiffany Dill had a lot of experience helping disabled people function within Places not created for them — like office places. But Tiffany’s own experience with disability—her parents discovered her hearing loss before Tiffany started kindergarten— helped inspire her to focus on how design could improve people’s lives at home.

Joyful Places follows Gretchen and Tiffany as they combine their skills to help an underserved and exponentially growing group of aspiring homeowners. Starting with the heart of middle America — St. Louis, Missouri — these two powerhouses are passionate about finding and renovating homes to be accessible to both traditional buyers…and the disabled.

What Makes Our Series Not Just Important… But Fun to Watch!

In each episode of Joyful Places, Tiffany and Gretchen will meet clients with specialized housing needs viewers can relate to or learn from. During the real estate portion of the format, we’ll learn what makes a home suited for an accessibility remodel, and just how competitive the market for these types of homes is already becoming. For example, 1-story homes are currently outselling 2-stories by a 3:1 margin in St. Louis and across the American midwest 🤯.

Inside these homes, we’ll learn about Universal Design, a framework of design concepts that can make every home accessible and attractive to everybody. How wide are the hallways and the entryways to kitchens and bathrooms? Are the kitchen countertops and bath/showers accessible for people with mobility issues? Can ramps replace stairs? What kind of smart home technology might make the home easier to manage and navigate?

Universal Design considerations aren’t meant to replace the kitchen/bathroom/curb appeal projects that provide home renovation shows with their traditional audience appeal, but to supplement them. Joyful Places will feature all of the design inspiration and transformational reveals that viewers love but will also demonstrate how incorporating Universal Design is a terrific investment in resale value. 

Not only will they consider the renovation. Through a partnership with Becoming rentABLE, the leading platform for accessible short-term rentals, Gretchen and Tiffany will send their clients to an accessible rental for rest and relaxation during their home makeover. Sounds like a dream, right!?

Reveal Day won’t just be a time to celebrate incredible aesthetic transformation…but measurable improvement in a family’s quality of life.

For Tiffany and Gretchen, this is a labor of love. They don’t plan to stop until the city of St. Louis is known as the most disabled-friendly place in America.

The Team Behind the Kickstarter:

The producers at InkBlot Narratives worked to develop, produce, edit, and deliver 2 seasons and 23 episodes of the highly-rated HGTV series Listed Sisters. They’ve done the same for series pilots on HGTV and DIY. InkBlot has more than 20 years of experience making television series and specials for networks and streamers that include: Amazon Prime, Discovery, National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, and NBC Universal.

And the Joyful Places production team has several personal connections to the disabled community:

Producer Luke Terrell was the film artist in residence at Cotting School. This is the first educational institution in the US exclusively for children with disabilities and complex medical conditions. He is a past participant of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. He helped on the film Hearts of Glass, about a vertical farm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that hires community members with disabilities. For the past eight years, Luke has also worked part-time as a caregiver in the disability community.

Producer Aaron Bowden grew up exclusively in homes with accessibility modifications due to his sister’s spina bifida disability.

What The Kickstarter Money Goes To:

Producing, editing, and finishing a 30-minute pilot episode of Joyful Places at the highest national television production value level. Please help us raise awareness around the coming crisis in the housing market. Join the movement to create a more inclusive housing stock!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for considering donating to our Kickstarter campaign!

Lori Becker, Tiffany Dill, and Gretchen Kingma

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Meet the Author

Hey there! I am SO GLAD you are here.

I’m Gretchen Kingma, The OT REALTOR.

We are marrying healthcare with housing, to assist you in finding or modifying the home that empowers you to love where you live.”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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